XScreenSaver 5.17

XScreenSaver 5.17 is out now. I fixed some compilation problems, and have made a bunch of tweaks to the iOS port.

I've just submitted this version to the app store, so cross your fingers.

Even though I'm still pissed that Apple makes me pay a hundred bucks for the privilege of running software that I wrote on hardware that I own, I've uploaded it as a free app, because even if you have the knee-jerk reaction of "Hey, I want my hundred bucks back", you're still shopping at the Company Store.

Let's say you charge $0.99 for the download to try and recoup that insignificant-yet-enraging $99. Since Apple takes a 30% cut, you break even after 143 downloads. In that case, you've got your $99 back and are out $0, but Apple is already ahead by $99 from you, plus $42 from your users for a total of $141.

The break-even point (where you have actually made more money on the deal than Apple did) is 500 downloads. At that point, both you and Apple are ahead by $247.50, and from there on you are in the lead.

So is it worth $99 to me for Apple to not make an additional $42 off of me and my users?

Yes. Yes it is.

And you're welcome.


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28 Responses:

  1. Andrew says:

    Looking forward to downloading it. And yes it's a shame Apple doesn't have some sort of reduced price option for free-app-only vendors.

  2. Chris Koontz says:

    Leave the app free, but do a kickstarter to recoup your 99$... I'd love to see what sort of backer prizes you'd come up with. :)

    • Dusk says:

      I am imagining perks like "$5: I will laugh at you over the internet".

    • James says:

      There should be an Indiegogo campaign to support the development of new mobile screensavers. Just take your top five or ten ideas and offer them all at $20 or something to see which is most popular. Just be sure not to make any promises on delivery dates.

  3. abortionist says:

    apple makes a profit anyways, so they don't give a fuck. can't apple users download an automatic installer from your site directly by pointing their browsers at it? i've seen that on blackberry and android.

  4. Publish a cydia version? I'm sure that the only thing that could make this entire process even more agonizing is supporting dpkg-on-ios on top of everything else.

  5. dinatural says:

    Thank you again, the previous version worked great (after the tweakings to install on device). I wonder if this one will be faster on an old 3GS :)

    • jwz says:

      I don't have a 3GS to try it on, how much slower is it?

      • dinatural says:

        It's only slow on some of the savers, some really really (like 3-5fps), some are very bearable, the majority are normal speed. It was only a test anyway, as I do with my own apps, good to have 2-3 devices to test :)
        Wish I had the new Ipad though!

  6. Edouard says:

    Also, what would happen if thousands of users ended up downloading it at 99c a pop? You'd start to make money. From software. A slippery, slippery slope.

    • Lun Esex says:

      Besides all the reasons against this posted in the OP, can you imagine the headache of dealing with people complaining about how XScreenSaver is free on every other platform, and you could "just download the source and compile it yourself for free" (never mind that it'll still cost you $99 for the certificate to actually install it on a device), so how DARE jwz even CONSIDER charging the ungodly sum of $.99 for such a thing?

      Well ok, most of them can just be ignored as usual, but fuck 'em anyway, they don't deserve to get the rant bait in the first place.

      • Paul N says:

        That makes me think that our illustrious host release Xscreensaver in both paid ($4.99? $9.99? Higher?) and free editions that are otherwise identical. If jwz is being nice he could call the paid version "Pay for my certificate" or "fundraising" edition, and otherwise he could call it the "idiot's edition". Apple could still get money from his users, but those users would be actively choosing the paid app.

        It's probably more trouble than it is worth, but I like the absurdity of the idea.

        • Edouard says:

          Ahh, you're saying he should charge $249.99 and then he beats Apple at the first sale? Sounds good.

          • Lun Esex says:

            And allow Apple to make $75 off that sale? Let's re-check the OP:

            So is it worth $99 to me for Apple to not make an additional $42 off of me and my users?

            Yes. Yes it is.

            And you're welcome.

            Your counter to that is likely to be "But jwz is making $175, which pays for his $99 developer fee and balances out the money that Apple is earning! With just one more sale he'll then be $100 ahead of Apple!"

            This will, again, be what is known as missing the point.

        • nooj says:

          It's a lot more likely that he'd do it if it were called the "DNA Lounge Defense Fund." I have $40 in my iTunes account that's been sitting there for over a year. I'd be willing to give 70% of that to jwz. I'd rather have it back, of course, but that's not how gift cards work.

      • Big says:

        The other problem is those people make up ~99% of everyone who bothers to rate apps…

        "Zero stars! I just paid 99 cents for xscreensaver, and all I got was a screensaver! I though I'd get a pony! DERP!"

        • pavel_lishin says:

          "It doesn't even make any fart sounds!"

        • Lun Esex says:

          You say that as if you're implying that jwz actually cares what ratings the average person who rates apps on the App Store would give to his software.

          • jwz says:

            You know, out of idle curiosity, I tried to check how many people had ever downloaded Dali Clock from Apple since I released it a couple of years ago. Turns out, they will only show you that information for one quarter. After that, they actually delete the information. (Or if they don't delete it, they sure won't share it with me.) So I have no idea!

            Apparently their party line is, "Surely you would have downloaded that already, so we don't need to save it! How could you possibly have done your taxes without importing that sales data into Quickbooks??"

            Because, you know, it's so much data. It would be almost the size of an application icon image per developer per couple of years.

            • David says:

              Turns out, they will only show you that information for one quarter.

              Given the topic at hand, it took me a minute to not read that as "they charge an additional twenty five cents for it."

    • Art Delano says:

      ...or publish XScreenSaver itself for free and sell all the screensavers as downloadable content, $0.99 apiece. That would be entertaining to watch but I don't think it'd improve jwz's quality of life.

  7. Pray that you never attempt to make port to a game console platform. Any of them.

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